Why do you cry?
Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt. But then people [also] cry under other circumstances and occasions.
Crying does serve an emotional purpose. It’s a release. There is a buildup of energy with feelings.
It can also be a survival mechanism. ‘When you cry, it’s a signal that you need to address something. Among other things, it may mean you are frustrated, overwhelmed or even just trying to get someone’s attention. Some call this a ”secondary gain” cry.
On top of that, crying may have a biochemical purpose. It’s believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body.
Lastly, crying has a purely social function. It often wins support from those who watch you cry. Sometimes, crying may be manipulative — a way to get what you want, whether you’re asking a friend to go shopping with you, your spouse to agree to a luxurious vacation, or your child to get their math homework done.
By Kathleen Doheny, Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.
Next: “Crying Out Loud: Who’s Most Likely?”